North-east politician says agriculture should be taught in schools

Colin Clark MP

The Scottish Government has been urged to consider introducing an agriculture qualification at the country’s secondary schools.

Gordon MP, Colin Clark, Conservative, believes the move could provide the industry with a badly-needed injection of fresh blood.

Yesterday, he spoke out after a Westminister debate about the importance of recruiting future generations into the profession.

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The Tory politician said he believed opportunities in the sector have been “closing down”, and its future will come to depend on bringing new people into the trade.

He added: “Agriculture should be a National 5 opportunity for school children.

“The environment has never been so high-profile, which must be aligned with the demand for affordable food.

“I am old enough to remember agri-science as a subject and I implore the Scottish Government to look at this.

“Pupils can study Scottish farming in a historical context, but more should be done to keep it current and vital.

“The average age of farmers is already approaching 60, we must bring in new blood.”

The Conservative MP Julian Sturdy initially secured a debate about GCSEs in England, which are the equivalent of SQA National 5 qualifications north of the border.